Welcome to the place where I rant, rave and discuss books, writing, the town of Cobourg Ontario and anything else that strikes my fancy.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Seagulls – The Cockroaches of Cobourg

It’s been a very busy week. My BFF is going through a divorce that started only last Sunday, and it would appear the beach is the most therapeutic place to be. So I’ve been at the beach quite a bit over the last few days, and though it’s beautiful and mesmerizing, it does have one major flaw. Seagulls. Dirty, scavenging, get-in-your-face seagulls.

As we walked towards the water, on the beautiful soft and silky sand, my BFF noticed that the beach surface was covered with little seagull footprints. They were actually quite cute and foreign in a way. They resembled miniature dinosaur prints, or infantile drawings of shooting stars. We made that “awww” sound that women make when they see a puppy or a baby. On their own, they aren’t so bad. One is not so bad. Actually, if you take the time to look at an individual seagull, it can be kind of pretty. But they don’t come alone. They circle in flocks. Seagulls also have no sense of personal space and will fight you for a piece of food.

Example: Below is a picture of what happened when a family left their beach-spot unattended. All of their clothes, towels, shoes and personal items where left on their beach blankets. Since Cobourg is a fairly safe and friendly town, the owners had no worries as to the safety of their belongings. Even if someone tried to steal something, the good people of Cobourg would quickly aide the victim by scaring away the perpetrator. Don’t believe me? This picture represents a good samaritan of Cobourg rushing to scare off a gang of hoodlums trying to steal some wrapped up chicken from the abandoned beach spot.

The second picture shows the victim of the onslaught also rushing to shoo away the gang, while thanking the good samaritan. It is unfortunate that I didn’t get a pic of the situation moments before, when all that could be seen was the gang of winged hoodlums swarming and fighting amongst themselves for a morsel.

Now let’s look at this more clinically by asking the important questions.

What are these beasts looking for? Food.
Where are these beasts usually found, or where should they be other than the beautiful Cobourg Waterfront? The garbage dump.
Who are these beasts? These seagulls are scavengers.
When do they attack? They are only seen when the weather is nice, and only during the daytime hours.
Why are they sticking around? Food food food and more food – with the combination of a law penalizing anyone who harms a seagull with a hefty fine.
Finally HOW can they be stopped? As per the answer above, my first suggestion is not legal so... though I don’t think they will ever leave the beach completely, if people were to stop feeding them, they wouldn’t cluster around quite so much. Nothing grates my nerves more (except irresponsible cell phone users) than people throwing scraps of food, encouraging these pesky monsters to plague the good citizens and visitors of Cobourg.

Please do your part to stop the insanity and the layer of excrement assaulting our sands. Help increase the general happiness of mankind: DON’T FEED THE SEAGULLS!

That’s the end of my rant for the day,



  1. "Cockroaches of Cobourg" - now THAT is a short story title at least.

    In the Sault (where I spent my chidhood), we lovingly referred to these white and grey beasties as "Shit-hawks".

    And it's not a rant when it's the truth! Don't feed 'em people!

  2. Yuck, I hate seagulls! They always hung around my high school with all of the food the teenagers would drop.

  3. @Chris - the title does hold a little pizazz doesn't it? We refer to them as "shit-hawks" down here too. Thanks for the encouragement, "Don't feed 'em people!"

    @Jenna I think we need t-shirts and hats and other anti-seagull swag to get our points across, n'est pas?

  4. Great rant. I promise not to feed seagulls. Makes me think of Woody Alan's line about pigeons. He called them "Rats with wings."